Friday 7 June 2024

9x9 (11. 613)

brainstorm: an AI researcher creates webpages from search queries—via Web Curios  

resurfacing the past: cataloguing all of the sunken ships of World War II  

like a feather on god’s breath: Hildegard von Bingen continues to fascinate and attract a diverse following—see previously 

leica lux: a new app from the veteran company is a concession that film is dead  

pineapple cheese: a nineteenth century fad in New England—via Strange Company  

unfortunate juxtaposition: an omnibus of headline crash blossoms—see previously  

mycological studies: Ann Wood’s paper mushrooms 

 amperima: deep-sea researchers discovery a hot-pink “Barbie Pig” and a unicumber unknown to science in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone 

ddg: DuckDuckGo offers anonymity for AI chat sessions

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: the Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520) plus the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)

three years ago: more links to enjoy plus Brazilian phone booths

four years ago: an airport stretch-limousine, factorial pottery, a parting-shot from Cassini, more links to revisit, justice served plus besmirching a swan

five years ago: Iceland does not want your bottled water, even more links plus a Noah’s Ark theme park flooded

Sunday 11 February 2024

o wheel, o woe (11. 342)

Already under threat by regulators for its traditional packaging, we learn that Camembert and brie face a compound calamity due to a collapse in microbial diversity.  The fungal strains that give distinctive flavours and characteristics and which producers have relied on for centuries are now demonstrating that consistency comes at a cost (see also), the favoured now standard Peniciliium camemberti no longer found in the wild.  Propagation via cloning over generations have rendered the fungi less resilient and harder for cheesemakers to grow and the monoculture of fungi of these domesticated microbes also imperil the future of blue cheeses, like Gorgonzola and Roquefort, at least in their refined form.

Sunday 7 January 2024

chorioactis geaster (11. 251)

Appearing only in parts of Texas (recognised as the official state fungi since 2021), Oklahoma and Japan, this leathery star-shaped (usually seven-pointed) flower-like mushroom is delighting mycologists, professionals and amateurs alike. Nothing quite so uncommon, the Lone Star State mushroom also nicknamed the Devil’s Cigar as it is reported

to produce an audible hiss (quite a rare ability at least for the human range of hearing) before unfurling from a clylindrical shape to release spores, but after the thaw, we’ve been noticing quite a few winter funguses distinct from the autumnal ones that we are most accustomed to encountering,
like this formation of hair ice (Haareis) that we thought at first were patches of frost but is a phenomena that occurs when weather conditions are just right, damp and humid and just at the freezing point when ice forms on the substate of a specific kind of mould (Exidiopsis effusa, not identified as the catalyst until 2015) growing on dead wood. The resulting strands and curls, however, are not formed on this fungus but rather extruded, expressed in the shape of ephemeral fine hairs before they sublimate away, though a still unknown mechanism and chemistry.

Sunday 31 December 2023

la montaรฑa sagrada or a funny thing happened on the way to enlightenment (11. 231)

Via a New Year’s obscure filmic tradition, we are re-introduced to the spectacle of Alejandro Jodorwsky’s (previously) 1973 Holy Mountain and considering a re-watch. The sacrilegious, surrealistic movie produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein with financial backing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono relates the narrative of a thief marketed as Jesus returned and collaborates with an alchemist (played by Jodorwsky) to transmogrify and transfix himself along with a constellation of characters representing the houses of the zodiac, ultimately breaking the fourth wall and give up this quest. Prior to filming, principal cast members underwent three months of spiritual training drawn from various practises including the I Ching, yoga, Zen Buddhism and the Kabbalah as well as communal living prescribed dosages of LSD and psilocybin. After premiering in Cannes, the Holy Mountain was screened in limited-release in New York and San Francisco in November and was not widely available until three decades later.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

7x7 (11. 089)

rough trade № 5: experimental post-punk band The Raincoats recording their first single  

seo: an after-party for those who helped ruin the internet 

fungiculture: narrated by Bjรถrk and presented by biologist Melvin Sheldrake, an upcoming documentary on on the ties that bind—see previously 

top level domain: Anguilla’s .ai internet suffix is a significant portion of the island’s gross-domestic product  

spectral analysis: the missing colours of the rainbow accounted for with Frauenhofer lines

survey sez: a newspaper accuses an advertiser of reputational damage after a poorly placed poll 

the kingsmen: the story behind Louie Louie—see previously

Saturday 2 September 2023

let’s call the whole thing off (10. 978)

With possibly the winningest URL of all time, Waxy directs our attention to a collaborative contribution project that has been running for seventeen plus years which has somehow missed our notice until now—vis a vis another recent post.
Artist and enterprise originator Clara Bahlsen solicits for anthropomorphised images of mascots, food eager to be cannibalised or collaborate it the act and other offerings collected and indexed in a huge searchable images that can be sorted by category and kind. Browse (the cursor is a potato) though and share the oddities that you find or add your own.

 
 synchronoptica

one year ago: more spurious quotations,  Madonna’s Music (2000) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: your daily demon: Gaap plus the Second Triumvirate forms (31 BC)

three years ago: more links to enjoy, the global race for a vaccine, the Stuttgarter Metro Map plus Wikipedia as an agent of cultural vandalism

four years ago: improvised campers,  a visit to the Cap d’Erquy, a new presentation of Euclid’s Elements, the abbey of Beauport plus the stop-motion short Matrioska

five years ago: a ban on pesticides that harm pollinators, the fight to save coral reefs, some special weeds plus an AI tries to name shopping malls

Friday 18 August 2023

rambles in search of flowerless plants (10. 951)

We found this brief tribute to the small cohort of female British and North American impassioned amateur mycologists to be quite resonant. It was their collecting and exquisite artistic and scientific renderings helped advance and ultimately legitimise the field of study amongst research dominated by men who tended to dismiss their hobby as unladylike as well as the ecological significance of toadstolls. Attempting to recognise and rehabilitate the professional contributions of dozens of nineteenth-century intrepid mushroom-hunters, the JSTOR article looks at the detailed drawings of Anna Maria Hussey (who has an agaric species named in her honour), Mary Elizabeth Banning (for whom a stinkhorn is her namesake), Margaret Plues (who was instrumental in popularising botanical books with the above series of titles though under the pseudonym Skelton Yorke) as well as children’s book author Beatrix Potter, who also produced over two hundred fungal paintings. More at the links above.

Tuesday 6 June 2023

7x7 (10. 790)

fowl-mouthed: Apple’s newest IOS to tweak auto-correct feature that turns a common expletive to “ducking” 

supars: librarians in the 1970s foresaw the coming age of inter- connectivity and distributed learning and helped design the tools for it 

olive grove: climate change bringing new crops to Canada’s Pacific Northwest 

pop 101: a guided formulaic approach to composition  

magic kingdom: research finds that fungi sequester a third of carbon emissions—via Slashdot  

fact-checking: the rise, fall and rebirth of Snopes

ski googles: Apple previews new prototype AR/VR headset—to be on the market next year

Sunday 5 March 2023

the great michigan pizza funeral (10. 592)

With the governor also coming to pay his respects, a sizeable crowd with members of the press came to the small town of Ossineke to witness the ceremonial disposal of nearly thirty-thousand frozen cheese and mushroom pies on this day in 1973, buried in a five metre deep grave. In order to demonstrate personal accountability and generate a bit of publicity for his business, one of the most state-of-the-art and earliest operations of its kind in America, Mario Fabbrini, originally from Fiume, Croatia and fled Yugoslavia, proprietor of Papa Fabbrini’s Pizzas, was approached by safety inspectors from the US Food and Drug Administration and ordered to recall, out of an abundance of caution, nearly a week’s worth of manufacturing when a supplier of mushroom toppings had tested positive for botulism. A post-mortem revealed the pizzas to be free of the deadly bacteria.

Thursday 23 February 2023

8x8 (10. 566)

scoby: manufacturing electronics out of a kombucha culture  

ngc 1433: more incredible infrared imaging of neighbouring galaxies from JWST  

meanwhile back at the manse: documenting changing American architectural aesthetics in Barbie’s Dream Home  

recalculating: Karen Jacobsen—the original GPS voice multi-modal: code-switching in texting in Hong Kong  

kbbl: music streaming service is offering AI hosts with generative chatter—via Super Punch  

55 cancri ๐›ฟ: a collection of the most bizarre exoplanets discovered so far  

fomes formentarius: introducing the fungus that has the potential to replace plastics

Wednesday 1 February 2023

9x9 (10. 515)

wickies: Fisheries and Oceans Canada is hiring assistant lighthouse keepers 

the montessori method: a look at the world’s most influential school system  

little moving splat: Ze Frank (previously) covers the strange and wonderfully intelligent behaviour of plasmodial slime moulds  

unitar: a selection of one-string music—via Pasa Bon! 

blue harvest: a history of the spoiler alert—see also  

what is a map: an awful educational short from 1949 given the MST3K treatment 

dead as a dodo: a de-extinction company gets a one-hundred fifty million dollar investment  

the free-market tree: non-felonious children’s literature editions for the state of Florida  

coast guard: a collection of lighthouses of North America

Saturday 7 January 2023

cupoty (10. 391)

Courtesy of Kottke, we are enjoying perusing the top one hundred entries for the Close-Up Photographer of the Year competition. There were too many outstanding images to choose from but we especially appreciated those who took the time to consider the toadstool, up-close and intimate, like Barry Webb’s huddle of Cribraria, a type of slime mould. The contest for 2023 opens already in March so plenty of time to get tiny.

Friday 11 November 2022

6x6 (10. 291)

verifiable: Norman Bates checks out of Twitter  

deatheaters vs sapsuckers: mycologists give an overview of the epic fungal wars happening all around us  

key moment: an analysis in the dearth of modulation in pop music since the 2000s—this 80s number has one of the best  

the mansion on o street: Washington DC’s secret civil rights landmark with a heroes-in-residence programme 

mapping emissions: charting out the biggest polluters near you

รฉminence grise: Twitter’s Blue Check verification scheme causing chaos

Thursday 13 October 2022

8x8 (10. 220)

punto di ebollizione: pasta maker introduces ‘passive cooker’ meters 

capricorn one: a thoroughgoing review of a 1977 film about a faked Mars landing  

a shropshire lass: four decades of mushrooming in England and Wales  

friluftsliv: the term for the Danish tradition of unwinding in the wilds popularised by playwright Henrik Ibsen  

perfect for roquefort cheese: all about blue cheeses—see also  

yes sirah: origins and production of wine grape varietals around the globe—via tmn  

wormsign: building a functional Fremen thumper 

hasta la pasta: the Italian influence in Argentinian cuisine

Saturday 10 September 2022

6x6 (10. 122)

derivative art: online communities are rejecting AI-generated images 

compostable mushroom shroud: when Luke Perry passed away in 2019, he requested that his mortal remains leave no trace—only it didn’t work—via the morning news  

forms of address: the title culture of German—and the UK—via Marginal Revolution 

remember-tini: a Virginia country club is facing backlash for a planned 9/11-themed seafood Sunday brunch—via Super Punch    

temenos: every four years a screening of experimental filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos’ eighty-hour Eniaios is held in the Peloponnese that his magnum opus could spiritually cleanse our over-polluted media diets  

multi-level marketing: the online community bent on undermining crypto-scams and bitcoin pyramid schemes

Thursday 2 June 2022

7x7

phillumeny: venerable Japanese matchbox manufacturer shuttering after almost a century 

fpoty: Pink Lady’s finalist gallery of superlative food photographs in its annual competition—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

posidonia australis: researchers determine that a giant patch of ribbon weed in Shark Bay Australia a

singular, ancient and expansive plant 

shadow gradient: expanding hole optical illusion is a touch trypophobic—via Boing Boing  

metamorphosis: late fifteenth century ecologist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian who was among the first naturalist to closely observe insects and understand their life cycles 

 casein chipping: more on cheese heists and ways to stop them 

 philately: a travelogue of postage stamps of imaginary places—see also

Wednesday 6 April 2022

fungi seeks same

Being long-time enthusiasts about plant and mushroom networking and communication, we quite enjoyed learning of this very preliminary, new research that goes further, responsibly suggesting analogues between the chemical and electrical signals that funguses employ to coordinate among colonies or distant parts of themselves—previously also compared to neurons—and human language. Analysis and attempts at decoding these shared messages reveal that missives are dispatched in packets with a vocabulary of possibly up to fifty words that vary across different varieties of mushrooms with split gills being the most chatty and nuanced among the species sampled.

Sunday 30 January 2022

fashion icon

Continuing a very fine tradition of celebrities dressed as a range of a certain thing, the always excellent Everlasting Blรถrt presents an extensive and growing thread of Lady Gaga as mushrooms. The paired gilled fungus is called the Pleurotus citrinopileatus (the Golden Oyster Mushroom or Tamogitake), edible and all-around useful, it is also being studied for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which could be harnessed for future health applications.

Tuesday 14 December 2021

dyer’s polypore

Having seen the process of extracting dyes from our fungal friends before, via Things Magazine, we not only quite enjoyed perusing through this swath collection of colours derived from mushrooms in its own right but also appreciated the site as an important point of departure for cultivating a deeper appreciation for the mycorrhizal network that connects us all.

Saturday 16 October 2021

atlas des champignons: comestibles, suspects et vรฉnรฉneux

Unsuccessful in our foraging this year (and usually coming up with the suspect varieties, if not outright poisonous ones), we appreciated pouring over the detail and descriptions from physician, botanist and accidental chronicler of the Haitian Revolution Michel ร‰tienne Descourtilz’ 1827 guide, lusciously illustrated with the lithographs of Auguste Cornillon. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.